More than ever these days, you can’t talk about credit and financial transactions without addressing fraud, identity theft and scams. Protect your personal information, PINs, passwords and other security keys!
What is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when a crook gets hold of your personal information (your name, credit card number, social insurance number, birth certificate, password, etc.) and uses it to get a credit card in your name, access your financial accounts, open a cell phone account, or make purchases, all the while pretending to be you. A real nightmare!
How Do I Know If I Am a Victim of Identity Theft?
Here are the three most common signs of identity theft. If one of the following happens to you, act and act fast!
- You have stopped receiving your credit card bills, or any mail at all.
- You receive bills for credit cards that you never applied for, accounts that are not in your name, or purchases that you never made.
- You get a call telling you that your credit application was assessed when you never requested one.
To find out more about techniques used by identity thieves and preventative measures, consult the Security section.
What To Do in the Case of Identity Theft or Fraud
If you are the victim of identity theft or fraud, don't waste any time; take steps to minimize the risks and damages. Here's what to do:
- Notify the police as soon as you suspect that you are a victim of theft or fraud.
(In the Montréal area, call 514-280-2222)
- Inform Equifax Canada, TransUnion Canada, the financial institutions, and all the companies you do business with (or with whom you have an account or debts), and send them a copy of the police report as soon as you get it.
- Cancel all your credit and debit cards, as well as all your accounts, passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), and other security codes affected by the theft, and replace them with new ones.
- Be extra vigilant to nip future attempts in the bud.
How to Secure My Online Transactions
Do you usually use your VISA card for online purchases? Sign up for Verified by VISA, a security program based on an exclusive password of your choice that guarantees that you are the only person authorized to conduct Internet transactions with your VISA card at participating online merchants.
To sign up, visit www.visa.ca/verified, or call 514-252-1846 (in the Montréal area), or 1-800-252-1846 (toll free).
How to Get Help in the Case of Cheque Fraud
Do you use cheques? All Davis + Henderson cheques come with an identity theft prevention and support program. For more information or for help in the case of cheque fraud, call 1-877-448-1295.